Huge savings with in­te­grated ap­proach

Motor Equipment News - - DIESEL INDUSTRY NEWS -

Work­ing to­gether, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and the trailer man­u­fac­turer Krone have trans­formed the con­cept of an “in­te­grated ap­proach” to re­duce CO2 into re­al­ity in less than 12 months. The in­te­grated ap­proach in­volves ev­ery­one in the haulage sec­tor play­ing their part in re­duc­ing fuel con­sump­tion: com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers, body/tyre sup­pli­ers, lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies and, last but not least, po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ers.

The two com­pa­nies’ de­vel­op­ment ef­forts on the in­te­grated ap­proach bring cus­tomers real ben­e­fits. The spe­cific Mercedes-Benz Ac­tros un­veiled at the IAA 2016 fea­tures the ef­fi­ciency pack­age and the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of the OM 471 six-cylin­der in-line en­gine, Pre­dic­tive Pow­er­train Con­trol (the an­tic­i­pa­tory cruise con­trol sys­tem) and A-label low rolling re­sis­tance tyres.

When com­bined with the new Krone “Profi Liner Ef­fi­ciency” trailer, it prom­ises a re­duc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion, and there­fore CO2 emis­sions, of up to 20 per­cent com­pared to ex­ist­ing com­bi­na­tions. A stan­dard semi­trailer-trac­tor com­bi­na­tion from 2014 forms the ba­sis of this com­par­i­son. MercedesBenz Trucks and its part­ners launched the first Ef­fi­ciency Run last year and wwas able to save up to 14 per­cent on fuel as a re­sult in com­par­i­son to a stan­dard semi­trailer-trac­tor com­bi­na­tion.

Dr Wolf­gang Bern­hard, mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG, with re­spon­si­bil­ity for Daim­ler Trucks and Buses: “In 2015, The Ef­fi­ciency Run proved that the in­te­grated ap­proach works. Now, just one year later, we are putting prod­ucts that are fit for se­ries pro­duc­tion onto the roads. Our op­ti­mised semi­trailer-trac­tor com­bi­na­tion pays off for the environment and our cus­tomers: it low­ers CO2 emis­sions and fuel con­sump­tion by up to 20 per­cent – and the cost can be amor­tised in about 18 months.”

Gero Schulze Is­fort, manag­ing di­rec­tor of the Krone Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Group, adds: “Work­ing in part­ner­ship has moved us a de­ci­sive step for­wards in terms of the in­te­grated ap­proach. Last year’s Ef­fi­ciency Run more than con­firmed our ex­pec­ta­tions. We have sub­se­quently fur­ther op­ti­mised our trailer, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to ev­ery­day prac­ti­cal­ity.” “Thus, this year we were able to launch an­other field trial, now ended, which has re­sulted in a semi­trailer that is fit for se­ries pro­duc­tion and is now go­ing on the mar­ket – the Profi Liner Ef­fi­ciency.”

Re­duc­ing fuel con­sump­tion, and there­fore CO2, is cur­rently one of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing the haulage sec­tor. In sec­tors out­side the emis­sions trad­ing scheme, of which haulage is one, the EU wants to re­duce CO2 emis­sions by 30 per­cent by 2030. This de­mands enor­mous ef­fort on the part of ev­ery­one in­volved in the haulage sec­tor.

How­ever, the in­dus­try is con­vinced that it can ac­com­plish this task – with­out statu­tory pro­vi­sions – not just out of a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the environment and so­ci­ety, but also driven by its cus­tomers. This is be­cause lower CO2 emis­sions also mean lower fuel con­sump­tion, which rep­re­sents a high cost fac­tor for our cus­tomers.

Back in 2008, Eu­ro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers for­mu­lated a vi­sion to re­duce CO2 emis­sions by 20 per­cent by 2020. It is es­sen­tial, how­ever, that this is cost-ef­fec­tive so that trans­porta­tion by truck does not be­come more ex­pen­sive and there is no im­pact on the Eu­ro­pean econ­omy’s com­pet­i­tive­ness.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity here lies not just with the man­u­fac­tur­ers of trac­tor units, but rather with the en­tire truck­ing sys­tem. That ex­tends to trac­tor units, semi­trail­ers, tyres, fuel, op­er­a­tions, in­fra­struc­ture and fleet re­place­ment. The Ef­fi­ciency Run is the best proof that this in­te­grated ap­proach works in real-world prac­tice: com­pared to a stan­dard semi­trailer-trac­tor com­bi­na­tion built in 2014, con­sump­tion could be re­duced by 18-20 per­cent as a re­sult.

Thanks to the Ef­fi­ciency Run, the pack­age of mea­sures be­ing pre­sented at the IAA to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and CO2 could quickly be trans­formed by Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Krone into spe­cific stan­dard prod­ucts, which are al­ready avail­able to or­der.

De­pend­ing on the truck and trailer in use, the fol­low­ing in­creases in ef­fi­ciency are ev­i­dent in terms of fuel con­sump­tion and the re­duc­tion in CO2 emis­sions: This in­crease in ef­fi­ciency of up to 20 per­cent in to­tal pays off for cus­tomers. De­pend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion and the ve­hi­cle ser­vice life dis­tance, the ex­tra cost of the trailer can be amor­tised in one to two years.

In com­par­i­son with last year’s Ef­fi­ciency Run, this test run did not look solely at fuel savings. As­sess­ing the new trailer’s ev­ery­day us­abil­ity was a spe­cific pri­or­ity. This in­volves ex­am­in­ing han­dling, noise emis­sion, ro­bust­ness, load­ing op­tions and ac­cess.

Dur­ing the three months of test­ing, the five semi­trailer-trac­tor com­bi­na­tions cov­ered more than 150,000 km on Ger­man roads. They trans­ported car en­gines, steel, pa­per, tim­ber prod­ucts and build­ing ma­te­ri­als – in short- and long-dis­tance haulage. Ac­cord­ing to the driv­ers, the new trailer re­ally proved its worth in tough day-to-day oper­a­tion. Load­ing is pos­si­ble from all sides and even from the top, and presents no prob­lems at all. Us­ing a fork­lift to load from the side works just as smoothly as with a con­ven­tional trailer, de­spite the side pan­els. No dam­age to the side pan­els was no­ticed at any time dur­ing the test phase. Re­verse dock­ing onto a load­ing ramp was also com­pleted with­out dif­fi­cul­ties. All that is nec­es­sary is to fold in the four­part rear wing be­fore open­ing the rear-end doors. Based on feed­back from driv­ers, this takes just a few sec­onds. They also made pos­i­tive com­ments about the fa­mil­iar op­er­abil­ity of the lift­ing and low­er­ing unit.

The struc­tural sys­tem for the side pan­els was sin­gled out for high praise. It com­prises five in­di­vid­ual el­e­ments. These can be re­moved eas­ily by hand at the height of the trailer axles – an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when a wheel needs to be changed, for ex­am­ple. Even so, the light­weight plas­tic side pan­els (a pro­pri­etary Krone de­sign) are so sta­ble that they do not cause any wind noise. The side pan­elling is, of course, cer­ti­fied by the Ger­man Tech­ni­cal In­spec­tion Author­ity (TÜV) and com­plies with le­gal re­quire­ments re­lat­ing to the side un­der­ride guard.

Low rolling re­sis­tance tyres and the trailer’s im­proved Cd value re­duce con­sump­tion by over five per­cent

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